Ecosystem Approach Sourcebook - Case-Study Details

 
1. Project Details
Author or Responsible Organization R D Smith and E Maltby. (2003) 'Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity: Key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK x + 118pp.
Project Title Chocó ecoregion project,Colombia
Date of Publication
Project Status Ongoing
Project Start Date
Project End Date
Countries Colombia
Regions Latin America and the Caribbean
Funding Source
 
2. Background to Project
Project Issue/Problem Statement Although the Chocó region in northwest Colombia is one of the most diverse and biologically rich regions in the world this biodiversity is increasingly threatened by socio- economic and development pressures. Efforts are being made to promote local conservation and sustainable development initiatives.
Project Description Seven years ago WWF was using the Ecosystem Management framework in order to identify, conserve and manage natural areas. Under this approach, conservation was the main priority. However, it was recognised that there was a need to complement this strategy with an assessment of socio-economic variables in order to reduce the threats and pressures on the ecosystems and natural resources of the Chocó Region. As a result, a regional project is being implemented using the following strategies:(1)promoting conservation and protection of indigenous populations, Afro-American territories and ecological reserves;(2) promoting sustainable management of forestry resources and agricultural systems;(3)strengthening local and regional organisations and capacities; and (4)analysing and influencing policies that will define the development of the region. The main results of the project were:(1)establishment of public and private protected areas and indigenous and ethnic reserves;(2)formulation of a Forestry Management Plan;(3)implementation of sustainable forestry and agricultural productive systems;(4)formulation of actions to promote conservation of riverbanks; and (5)promotion of domestic animal rearing. Capacity building was also addressed.
Highlighted Aspects of Ecosystem Approach • Conservation, equitable sharing of benefits and sustainable use of resources were simultaneously addressed. • The case study did not illustrate the need to understand the functional relationships of ecosystems. • In the Chocó region the goods provided by the fauna and flora included: water resources, wood, secondary forest resources, CO 2 absorption, mineral soil storage, genetic information, landscape, genetic diversity, soil erosion control, fishery resources and tourism. Local communities as well as other components of external markets were recognised as the beneficiaries of these goods and services. • Adaptive management was not illustrated or tested in this case study. • The local level proved to be the appropriate scale for many reasons, although the regional and national scale also applied due to the national park system in the area. The project promotes institutional relationships between the parks and the local communities. • Linkages between different local groups such as indigenous people, Afro-Americans, mestizos, farmer communities, local NGOs and governmental organisations were highlighted. These “inter-institutional alliances ” aimed to build local capacity to influence the decision- making process and the region ’s future development.
Conclusions •Valuable indigenous information was gleaned from the auto-diagnosis strategy as well as the establishment of the collectively managed areas for the Afro-American communities. • Success of territorial management relies on local community organisations and their internal regulations. • Private reserves have been identified as suitable areas for conservation and environmental education. • Inter-institutional alliances are an effective strategy for identifying solutions and for policy and decision-making.
 
3. Sectors and Biomes
Sectors Forestry
Biomes Forest Biodiversity
 
4. Tools and Approaches
Tools and Approaches   Relevance
Score
  Further
Information
Public Participation 3-High
- Local community approaches 3-High
Governance, Law and Policy 3-High
- Policy development, planning and reform 3-High
Protected Areas and Land Use Policy 3-High
- Protected/managed areas 3-High
Cross-sectoral Research and Working 3-High
Indicators 3-High
 
5. Issues
Issues   Relevance
Score
Public Participation 3-High
Sustainable Use of Biodiversity 3-High
Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices - Article 8(j) 3-High
 
6. Ecosystem Approach
Principles and Operational Guidance   Relevance
Score
  Reason
(Only if NOT relevant)
Principle 1: The objectives of management of land, water and living resources are a matter of societal choices 3-High
Principle 2: Management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level 3-High
Principle 3: Ecosystem managers should consider the effects (actual or potential) of their activities on adjacent and other ecosystems 3-High
Principle 4: Recognizing potential gains from management, there is usually a need to understand and manage the ecosystem in an economic context 3-High
Principle 5: Conservation of ecosystem structure and functioning, in order to maintain ecosystem services, should be a priority target of the ecosystem approach 3-High
Principle 6: Ecosystem must be managed within the limits of their functioning 3-High
Principle 7: The ecosystem approach should be undertaken at the appropriate spatial and temporal scales 3-High
Principle 8: Recognizing the varying temporal scales and lag-effects that characterize ecosystem processes, objectives for ecosystem management should be set for the long term 3-High
Principle 9: Management must recognize the change is inevitable 3-High
Principle 10: The ecosystem approach should seek the appropriate balance between, and integration of, conservation and use of biological diversity 3-High
Principle 11: The ecosystem approach should consider all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous and local knowledge, innovations and practices 3-High
Principle 12: The ecosystem approach should involve all relevant sectors of society and scientific disciplines 3-High
Operational Guidance B: Enhance benefit-sharing 3-High
Operational Guidance D: Carry out management actions at the scale appropriate for the issue being addressed, with decentralization to lowest level, as appropriate 3-High
Operational Guidance E: Ensure intersectoral cooperation 3-High
 
7. Lessons Learned and the Outcomes
Lessons Learned •Valuable indigenous information was gleaned from the auto-diagnosis strategy as well as the establishment of the collectively managed areas for the Afro-American communities. • Success of territorial management relies on local community organisations and their internal regulations. • Private reserves have been identified as suitable areas for conservation and environmental education. • Inter-institutional alliances are an effective strategy for identifying solutions and for policy and decision-making.
Outcomes
Other Information
 
8. References
References Smith, R.D. & Maltby, E. (2003) Using the Ecosystem Approach to Implement the Convention on Biodiversity: Key issues and case studies. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, Uk x + 118pp.
 
9. Contact Details
Contact Person Ms. Diana Mortimer
Job Title Ecosystem Approach Officer
Organization Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Address Monkstone House, City Road,
Postal Code PE13 4LA
City Peterborough
ZIP/State/Province Cambs
Telephone +44 1733 866857
Fax +44 1733 555948
E-mail Address diana.mortimer@jncc.gov.uk
 
 

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  • United Nations Environment Programme